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Critical Analysis

Discuss about the Service Marketing of Nicolatte Cafe.

Nicolatte Café is a local café located at Wellington Ct, Hobart Tasmania, Australia. Café serve only breakfast and lunch from Monday to Saturday. Café has a seated food service and has good quality testy food with a high quality of hygiene. It is a small start-up running well till now. The owner has made enough efforts to make it look better. This café is a nice place to make meetings for coffee, breakfast, and lunch. The place is quite friendly and has fantastic combination of surroundings and staff members. Both these elements make the place quite decent and food enough to spend some good time. It has a wide range of products mentioned in its menu but the place is famous for its wood fried pizzas. These wood fried delicious pizzas come along with a reasonable price. This made the café worthy to visit at least once. Today service market is demanding for improved marketing to make its business survive in the era of competitive market. Service marketing is completely different from product marketing (Lovelock & Gummesson, 2004). In product marketing marketers have a physical product to showcase for its marketing but in case of service marketing they don’t have an end product. Instead of this end product organizations have to show their quality with the help of their appearance and impression on the market or customers. This report will discuss the key findings for the service marketing of the café. For this service marketing strategy is used to analyse the key weaknesses and strengths of the café. This report also includes the critical analysis of the personal experience of café visit using the service marketing theory.

Critical analysis includes identifying the key strengths and weaknesses of an experience. In this report the critical analysis is about the key findings of my personal experience of Nicolatte Café’s services. There are seven key elements of any service marketing mix that can be controlled by the organization. These key elements of service marketing mix are product, place, price, process, physical evidence, promotion, and people (Ivy, 2008). This particular portion of the report will include the critical analysis of product and physical evidences of Nicolatte Café on the basis of personal experience using the service marketing theory.

Any collection of benefits for both receiver and provider and also satisfy needs of customer is called product (Ivy, 2008). The service product of this market is one core product to be served but also includes several supplementary services associated with the supply of this core product. These supplementary services are the major element providing a competitive advantage in the market. Different market strategies are to be considered while designing these supplementary services. The “Flower of Service” as shown below describes briefly that how the value of main core product of the service varies due to the individual supplementary service and provides marketing advantage or disadvantage at the same time (Lovelock & Gummesson, 2004). These supplementary services can be split into two major categories as delivery enhancing services and services providing facilities to the core product. Consultation, hospitality, safekeeping, and exceptions are counted as the services enhancing the delivery of main core product, whereas information, order-taking, billing and payment are counted as the facilitating supplementary services (Bitner, 1992).

Product

 

Figure 1 Source by Author

These supplementary services are referred to their individual objectives. The information service referred to provide complete information including the services, products and facilities of the restaurant (Bitner, 1992). Nicolatte café has nice surrounding and provides the information only customers asked for. They should explain different services they have at their café in order to describe the worthiness of café. Order-taking is a process in which employees of the café ask their customers for their requirement or products they want. Once the customer make his order finish or about to leave the place a bill is provides to the customer encouraging him or her to pay the applicable amount for the product as well as the services they used (Baron et al., 2014). To make a good impression, bill must be informative and clear to the customer’s understanding. In the world of digitalization there are limited modes to make a payment. Restaurants should provide all possible alternatives to make a payment. This would make customers easy to make their payment with their convenience. These facilitating services are quite good. Enhancing services of the café are most important to achieve market advantage. Consultation refers to the advice given to the customers to get the best experience of the place. This consultancy or the advice provided to the customers, make them feel like they should try the new product that the place has as their special one. This service let people know about the speciality of the business and make them to get something different which ultimately attract new customers. Hospitality service refers to the behaviour of employees with their customers and their attitude while interacting with the customers (Baron et al., 2014). Whereas, safekeeping is the service provided to take care of the customer’s belongings like, their vehicles and accessories. These enhancing services are more important to take market advantage than the facilitating services (Lovelock & Gummesson, 2004).


The supplementary services described in the flower of services could be seen at the Nicolatte Cafe at the time of my visit. When I visited the café for first time I found some strengths and weakness of the café. One of the weaknesses of café is customer cannot make a pre-booking of the table for two therefore they have to wait for a while until they get a vacant table. Another weakness was we had to make only one payment even after provided with a bill of separate items. This made me disappointed as they provided me with a nice bill having separate amounts of different items makes it easy to split it but making one payment made it worthless. When it comes to the strengths of the café, they have good enhancing services as we were attended very politely and employees took care of our belongings as well as the attitude of employees was quite good. After all at the time of leaving we got bacon even though we did not order that. While asking about this we were told that it is complementary. This shows that the café had its strengths of enhancing services only.

Physical Evidence

The surroundings or environment influences the behaviour and creates an image of the organization apparently in service businesses like café, hotel, and restaurant. This effect of the physical appearance or environment on customers and employees is recognized in different service businesses by their respective managers (Alfadly, 2012). Effect of physical environment of the place on the quality and nature of interaction among or between employees and consumers must be given a special consideration while accounting interpersonal services-capes (Bitner, 1992). This physical evidence provides a tangible surrounding which facilitate the communication and performance of the services. Researchers suggest that the service is not an end product that can be displayed to the consumers but services cannot be evaluated before using them this makes organizations to use their physical evidences in order to showcase their quality of service to the customers (Chen & Hu, 2010). Physical evidence works as an additional enhancing element for the customer expectations. In order to evaluate the quality of physical evidence and its impact on both the customers as well as employees, a framework was created. A better quality physical evidence or environment influences different aspects of the employees like, job satisfaction, productivity, and motivation. At the same time it also influences the customer attraction and increases their expectations from the place (Line & Runyan, 2012). This framework splits different elements of physical evidence into three categories; space and functionality, ambient conditions, and signs, symbols and artefacts. This framework model is given as below

 

Figure 2 Bitner, (1992) Servicescapes framework

The ambient conditions of the frame work refer to the characteristics of the surroundings which influences the customer perception towards the service quality of organization. This perception influences by five different senses that senses the temperature, air quality, noise, colour, lighting, music, and fragrances of the surrounding. In case of Nicolatte Café these elements of the ambient conditions were quite good. Second category space and functionality defines the shape and size of the place. In includes the furnishings, equipment, and the order in this these equipment arranged to make a good impression of the physical appearance on the customers. The third category, sign, signal and artefacts refers to make an understanding of the behaviour expected by the management to maintain the harmony of place.

Using this framework model, the thorough analysis of the Nicolatte Café, for ambient condition is very nice. Although café doesn’t look that much pretty from outside as of it is inside. Lighting of the café is quite decent making the dining area look like cool i.e. not so bright or not that much dark. Although the dining space is very wide, at the time it is full there is so much noise that can irritate sometimes. Background music is very nice. Customers can enjoy the music while having their food. In terms of colour of the dining area walls café has a decent look. Colour of the interior walls is little dark to make the surrounding look like silent and make an effective lighting. The open area for dining is covered by the glass doors allowing sunlight to freshen up the environment and make a nice view of the street. Furniture items of the café are of wooden which look nice and quite formal. All these elements give the restaurant a decent cool look that attracts most of the people for its simplicity as well as decency. This look reflects the food quality of restaurant and makes a hidden communication with its customers about its hygiene. The background wall of the cash counter is painted with a saying like, “Happiness is having good food with great friends”. This saying is painted in a very effective way to make a god impression of their food. Nicolatte Café has its uniqueness in its food and beverage items. Their food quality is very nice but their exterior appearance in so simple that customers may not find that much cool as it is in real from inside.

The above analysis of the Nicolatte Café about its services there are some weaknesses where managements has to work on to resolve these issues. As per this analysis this place is quite good with its food products but marketing strategies are not so good. Service marketing is to market the services through different elements of the surrounding and supplementary services. Café is lacking in its services, enhancing the delivery of products, but the facilitating supplementary services are quite good of the café. One major weakness of the café is they are not good with taking orders from the tables for two also they do not book table before arrival of the customers. This makes customers to wait for the table. In case of customer looking for a quick meal café employees asked them to wait for a while, customer will prefer to visit another nearby place. This can decrease the business. In order to remove this issue management of the café can start pre-booking of tables for two. This will make is easy for the customers looking for a quick meal to get the food as per their expectations. Another issue of the café is receiving only one payment from one table. This will make customers be loyal for the café as they will get what they want in terms of time saving. Otherwise, making customers wait, will result in disappointing the customers and will make them unlike to visit next time (Ryu et al., 2012).

For customers visiting in a group sometimes want to split their bill among them all. Although billing system is quite good the system of receiving only single payment from one table will surely disappoint such customers. Also they don’t have so many alternatives to make payments. This system does not allow other people to make payments of their share which will definitely disappoint the people visiting in groups. Today in the world of digitalization everyone expects to make an easy and convenient payment (Ryu et al., 2012). In service market the customer expectations are crucial for the customer satisfaction and as the customer satisfaction is most crucial element of the success in service marketing management cannot take it lightly. Café management has to overcome this issue to provide a complete customer satisfaction. Once customer makes a convenient payment it makes a last impression of the customer satisfaction as the customer will be leaving the place after making payment. Therefore, this issues needs to be resolve as soon as possible.


When it comes to the weaknesses of the physical evidence the café is quite good but its weakness of sufficient space makes it noisy when booked completely. It can disturb other customers resulting in irritating them and leaving the place. This noise also destroys the feeling of pleasant music. This will result in reducing the time spent by the customers and ultimately impact the customer satisfaction as well as the business. Usually people go to the restaurants for meeting new people or sometime for an important business meeting. In that case such disturbance will result in choosing another place by the customer. This issue can be resolved by introducing limited seats according to the space available at the location. Or separate cabin system can be introduced to avoid the other interference. This will attract such people looking for a separate private space to make an important meeting.

Conclusion

From the above critical analysis about the service marketing of Nicolatte Café it is concluded that the café is lacking in service marketing through some of the supplementary services like attending the customers and its space utilization. Analysis suggests that the arrangement is much impressive but it is not good if the café is full. Therefore, we can conclude that the service marketing needs some changes as per recommendations. The owner would make a good business if these issues related to service marketing get resolved. Analysis also states that as per the service marketing theory both the delivery enhancing and facilitating supplementary services play a critical role in marketing. Although the price, taste, interior, and hygiene are good enough of the café but this is not enough to make business. To make a good business marketing of the business is essential and that can be done only by applying some marketing strategies used for the service marketing. Moreover, critical analysis findings suggested some strengths of the café like good taste, nice interior and environment therefore making few changes as per recommendations would make the business stronger and café will survive better in the market competition.

References

Alfadly, D.A.A., 2012. Improving the Quality of Services Marketing in Kuwaiti Organizations. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(20), pp.235-43.

Baron, S., Warneby, G. & Hunter-Jones, P., 2014. Service(s) Marketing Research: Development and Direcctions. International Journal of Management Reviews, 16, pp.150-71.

Bitner, M.J., 1992. Servicescapes: The Impact of Physical Surroundingd on Customer and Employees. Journal of Marketing, 56(2), pp.57-71.

Chen, P.-T. & Hu, H.-H., 2010. How Determinant Attributes of Service Quality Influence Customer-Percieved Value: An Empirical Investigation of the Australian Coffee Outlet Industry. Internationaal Joutnal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 22(4), pp.535-51.

Ivy, J., 2008. A New highere Education Marketing Mix: The 7Ps for MBA Marketing. International Journal of Educationa Management, 22(4), pp.288-99.

Line, N.D. & Runyan, R.C., 2012. Hospitality Marketing Research: Recent Trends and Future Directions. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 31(2), pp.477-503.

Lovelock, C. & Gummesson, E., 2004. Whither Services Marketing? In Search of a New Paradigm and Fresh Perspectivees. Journal of Service Research, 7(1), pp.20-41.

Ryu, k., Lee, H.-R. & Gon Kim, W., 2012. The Influence of the Quality of the Physical Environment, Food, and Service on Restaurant image, Customer Percieved Value, Customer satisfaction, and Behavioural Intensions. International Journal of Comtemporary Hospitality Management, 24(2), pp.200-23

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